(Isaiah 43:19)  Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

                                                                                                                                     

The clutch saying at home has become “We are working on developing better habits.” 

 

That expression got me to thinking about our spiritual growth paradigm.

 

For those who do not know, or if you are like me have completely forgotten about what I even had to eat yesterday yet alone some teaching we went over last spring here is a short refresher.

 

The whole idea is a forward progression. We have to know where we are going and we have to go forward.  And I know I preached that last week but it is like the story about how the apostle John was teaching the people to love one another. After a while one of the congregation came up to him and mentioned that all he was ever teaching was to love one another, love one another, lover one another. When was he going to teach them something new? He told them that when they had mastered loving one another he would move on to something else.

 

But lets just for review look at our ministry model. We shaped it like a base ball diamond, with home plate and three bases. First base was church membership. The path to first base was salvation, baptism, and communion. Second base was Spiritual Maturity. Getting there we used the acronym H.A.B.I.T.S.  

 

H. Stands for Hang Time with God

A. Stands for Accountability Partner

B. Stands for Bible Memorization

I. Stands for Involvement in the Church Body

T. Stands for your Tithing Commitment

S. Stands for Scripture Study

 

So with that knowledge, we are working on developing better habits. But let’s not stop there. Third base is Ministry. This is where we discover our Spiritual Gifts and become doers of the Word and not hearers only. This is where we are no longer spectators but become participants. Our path to Ministry we used the word. S. H. A. P. E. We are getting in shape.

 

S. Stands for your Spiritual Gifts Survey.

H. Stands for your Heart.

A. Stands for your Abilities

P. Stands for your Personality

E. Stands for your Experience

 

All of these combined makes you uniquely qualified for the exact calling that God has placed upon you, and you indeed have a high calling.

 

Then of course we have Home Plate, which we described as your Life Mission. And along that path we used the letters to form the word: P. E. A. C. E.

 

P. Stands for Planting a Church

E. Stands for Equipping Servant Leaders

A. Stands for Assisting the Poor

C. Stands for Caring for the Sick

E. Stands for Education the Next Generation

 

The point I want to make for you today is that God has a plan and a purpose for your life and this New Year is…. IS!!!! going to be your best year ever. Together we are working on developing better HABITS. We are getting in SHAPE. And through it all we are discovering the PEACE that passes understanding.

 

God is right now doing a new thing. The passage above says that God is right now doing a new thing.

 

Let’s look at the passage above again

 

(Isaiah 43:19)  Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

 

 

The original Hebrew word for “now” means…. Well….”NOW!”

 

עתּה

‛attâh

at-taw'

 at this time,  expletive: - henceforth, now, straightway, this time, .

 

 

And you my friend, You are not only a part of that new thing, you are riding the wave of God’s glory into that new thing, You are the conduit that the power of God’s love is flowing through. You are bursting forth out of it. You are blooming like a rose from a rose bud. You are that new thing. Behold, all things have become new. Behold! Check it out!!! There is a whole new you coming alive and on the scene. And at your center, in your Heart of hearts is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

 

In this passage above God is encouraging His people. Times might seem tough, you might be going through some hard things, but God is telling you not to give up for He is about to move. Notice with me how he mentions the great things that He did in the past for the children of Israel.

 

 (Isaiah 43:16=18)  Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow.

 

(Isaiah 43:18)  Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

 

This 18th verse He is telling us that the great things that He is about to do for us make the things of old look like nothing.

 

God is about to do something Great in the lives of each and every one of you. In your life! He is going to take something that you have seen as bad and turn it around and make good come out of it. That is what God does.

 

Remember when Joseph’s brothers threw him in that pit then sold him into slavery. What they meant for bad God used for good.

 

You are on the brink of a miracle. You are at the threshold of your breakthrough. God is going to make 2007 your best year ever. He is going to chase you down with blessings.

 

The children of Israel were in captivity when these words were written. Only a small number of them returned to Jerusalem. But with that small remnant God changed the world. With that small group of people he raised a nation up that would bring forth the savior of the world.

 

Sometimes it is in those small beginnings that Great things take hold and grow into more then those in that original small group could have ever imagined.

 

Look at those twelve disciples. Even after the Pentecost and the Holy Spirit fell and thousands started coming to the LORD. I do not believe that they could imagine how billions of people around the world, from Alaska to Antarctica, from Africa to Australia, from the farthest north to the farthest south and every nation in between. The entire world was changed by their small group under the power of the Holy Spirit of God.

 

When you get plugged into the Holy Spirit You are plugged into an unlimited supply of creative power. You and God are a majority.

 

If you have been experiencing a mediocre life of less, then it is time to start working on developing better HABITS. Maybe you have simply become too use to mediocrity. Maybe you have allowed it to become your habit. God did not form you in your mother’s womb for mediocrity; You were fearfully and wonderfully made. And you are here today to shine forth the love and the truth of God’s resurrection power in this generation. You are in the place you are for such a time as this.

 

On New Year’s Eve we had a candle light service. During that service we started with one candle in the darkness then one by one as each candle was lit we saw the darkness run and hide as the light overpowered the darkness with every person who let their light shine. I am sure that if you have ever experienced a candle light service you realized the same significance of how your light makes a difference in lighting the darkness. But we took it one step further and one by one we extinguished our flames. With every person who let their light go out the darkness quickly overtook the entire room.

 

The light that you shine makes all the difference in the world. Your light of goodness and joy and the special way you touch other people’s lives makes all the difference in the world. Without your light the world would be such a darker place.

 

Too often we keep our light under a bushel, or locked up in our heart; closed in behind the walls of our own limitations. Maybe it is because of fear of rejection. Maybe it is because it is of fear of being hurt. Maybe it is because of our fear of change. What ever the reason for you not living up to your God given potential and letting your light of who you have been created to be, what ever that reason is, it is not reason enough for you to any longer pay any attention to it.

 

The beginning of this chapter and again within it God gives us two words that can change your life.

 

(Isa 43:1)  But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

 

Then again in the fifth verse:

 

(Isa 43:5)  Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;

 

Remember God has not given us the spirit of fear:

 

(2Timothy 1:7)  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

 

It is time for us all to work on developing better HABITS. It is time for us all to get in better SHAPE. It is time for us to know, really know the PEACE that passes understanding.

 

God is ready to do a new thing in your life. He is ready to do a new thing in this nation and in the world. Fear not for God is with you and he will see you through al the changes that are going to take your from mediocrity to the promise land.

 

It is going to start with your acceptance of the truth that God’s blessings are even now chasing you down and are going to fill you to the overflowing. Beyond your wildest dreams. We have been using the expression “expect the unexpected” lately. What it is telling us is that God is going to amaze you with His supernatural power. I am talking about your health, your emotional stability, your love life, your financial situation, your family relationships, your church growth, your entire life is going to be filled to the over flowing with God’s blessings.

 

Expect the unexpected. That is how you are going to break out of mediocrity, by expecting and receiving the unexpected.

 

Believe and receive…. Believe and receive!!!!! Believe and receive……